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Colin Pratt, born Colin George Pratt on the 10th October 1938 in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, father of speedway rider Troy Pratt and President of the World Speedway Riders’ Association (2012)

His career began when he bought a speedway machine from Mike Broadbank at the age of 19 years and then, like so many others, learned his trade at the Rye House track, his apprenticeship was curtailed by National Service and it was 1960 before he was able to return to the track and take his first steps as a fully fledged speedway rider.

Signed in 1960 by the Southampton Saints for whom he took his first professional ride in the National League, sadly a broken wrist acquired whilst riding at Swindon curtailed his first riding season. It may have been as a result of the broken wrist but in 1961 Southampton could only offer him second half rides in his second season with them and he found himself out on loan to Poole Pirates, Ipswich Witches and Stoke Potters no doubt frustrating at the time but it produced a return of confidence, points and a team place with the Potters.

Remaining with Stoke Potters for 1962 and 1963 his performance improving all the time resulting in his winning the Gerry Hussy Memorial Trophy at Rye House an achievement in itself, even more of a statement of his improving ability when you realise it was won by winning all of the heats he rode that night and breaking the track record into the bargain. Moving then to Swindon Robins for a short while in 1963 before swapping again this time for Hackney Hawks in 1964, staying a Hackney Hawk for six years until 1969 honing his skills and qualifying for the World Speedway Championship Finals in 1967 and the British Finals in 1966, 1967 & 1969 and won the London Riders Championship in 1967 and 1968.  

1970 saw him move to Cradley Heath Heathens however having only ridden 20 matches for them he went to Amsterdam as a guest rider for West Ham Hammers and was involved in the Lokeren tragedy, (a vehicle carrying riders and officials back to the UK was involved in an accident in which five of the passengers in the vehicle were killed), Colin sustained a broken neck and, I’m sure, some awful memories of the loss of his companions, he was advised that even with the neck healed the risk of riding again was too great and he should retire, so retire he did but only from riding.

Back to Rye House in 1979 for his first non-riding speedway job as co-promoter with Len Silver, then a Team Manager for the Kings Lynn Stars in 1983 for a season before moving on to replace Peter Adams as promoter at Cradley Heath in 1984. He continued very successfully in his post at Cradley for 12 years piloting his team to many prestigious wins and titles. Leaving Cradley in 1996 to co-promote the London Lions, at the now vacant Hackney Wick Stadium, un-fortunately it did not prove successful and closed after one season.

So Colin was on the move again briefly at Bradford Dukes for 1998 as team manager before going to Coventry Bees as promoter, co-promoter, team manager almost in any combination until resigning just before the end of the 2012 season.

During his riding career he was selected to ride 14 times for England and 7 for Great Britain so I guess he is not short of caps. Both as rider and administrator he is a respected servant of the sport and we hope he will continue for as long and he would wish to offer his knowledge and experience to the sport he so obviously loves


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